Have you ever felt sound, heard texture and tasted motion? Field Synesthesia for us is the juxtaposition of different sensory experiences derived from our fieldwork. All senses are connected; knowledge cannot be compartmentalised.

This spells out the nature of our transdisciplinary collaboration — there are always frictions between the architectural, anthropological, choreographic and cinematic perspectives. We find these mismatches productive and poetic.

If ethnography is intrinsically fragmented, then juxtaposition as a method to process fieldwork offers a structure that can host gaps and contradictions without falling apart. Daring to break with the kind of linear, defined narrative, what is foregrounded are plural imaginations and affective attunement. 

Burning Till Reborn is a work-in-progress experimental series towards field synesthesia. It explores how destructive forces, rituals, and the idea of reincarnation are entangled in the daily life of rural China. It was screened and presented at the Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival Conference (2023).

Burning Till Reborn (2023)
Photography series by Chen Zhan

Burning Till Reborn
Experimental film clip (work-in-progress), 2min, Colour, HD, 2023
Co-Directed by Chen Zhan & Jingru (Cyan) Cheng & Mengfan Wang
Cinematography by Chen Zhan
Editing by Jingru (Cyan) Cheng